Drayson Racing Looks Next to the Challenge of the Nurburgring NURBUR, EIFEL, GERMANY- Nurburgring; the very name sends shudders of excitement through the spine of spectators and drivers alike. Whether in its full Nordschleife configuration or...
Drayson Racing Looks Next to the Challenge of the Nurburgring
NURBUR, EIFEL, GERMANY- Nurburgring; the very name sends shudders of excitement through the spine of spectators and drivers alike. Whether in its full Nordschleife configuration or the more modern Grand Prix circuit, Nurburgring is one of motorsport's greatest trials of man and machine. On Sunday, 23 August, Drayson Racing will face down that challenge for the first time. The 5.148km (3.198 miles) Grand Prix course will play host to the 1,000km of Nurburgring, the penultimate round of the 2009 Le Mans Series season, for a maximum of six hours of multi-class, sports car racing. Drivers Paul Drayson (London/Gloucestershire, UK) and Jonny Cocker (Guisborough, Yorks, UK) will confront the physical and mental challenges of Nurburgring for 195 laps from the cockpit of the No. 87 Drayson Racing Aston Martin Vantage GT2.
For Drayson and Cocker, Round Four of the five race Le Mans Series season marks their first visit to the 15-turn Grand Prix course - the same course raced by the Formula One World Championship. The unfamiliarity of the circuit and the reputation for sudden and violent rain bursts add to the obstacles for the British-based team. However, the track's basic configuration of medium and high-speed corners is a perfect match to the Vantage GT2. The combination of track and possibility of rain could prove a good omen for the Drayson team.
As a team, Drayson Racing has made massive gains since announcing its formation in January. The Dale White (Bozeman, MT. USA)-managed effort has proven itself a serious contender for LM GT2 class podiums in recent events. Smart driving, clever pit strategy and quick teamwork have regularly placed the V8-powered machine in the top-five of the class deep into the races. Most recently, at the 1000km of Algarve (Portugal), the No. 87 ran as high as second and was regularly challenging for fourth. However, an engine component failure ended the promising run early.
Following Nurburgring is Drayson Racing's "home" event. The 1000km of Silverstone, scheduled for 13 September in the United Kingdom, will close the Le Mans Series season. The programme will follow Silverstone with a pair of American Le Mans Series races in the United States and the Asian Le Mans Series rounds in Japan.
Practice for the 1000km of Nurburgring begins Friday, 21 August with two sessions. An additional practice and qualifying are scheduled for Saturday. The race will begin at 12:30 (local) on Sunday, 23 August.
Paul Drayson, Driver/Owner: "Nurburgring is another of the truly iconic European circuits visited by the Le Mans Series. This will be my first time racing here and I am really looking forward to taking the Vantage out onto this famous track. Although we experienced an engine failure early in the last race, we had been showing improved pace and competitiveness all weekend. I hope we can build on that and have a good result in Germany. It would be great to carry positive momentum into the Le Mans Series finale in front of our home crowd at Silverstone next month."
Jonny Cocker, Driver: "I have never visited the Nurburgring circuit but from all of the on-board footage I have seen it looks like it should be a good track for us. There seems to be a good mix of medium and high speed corners which should suit the Vantage well. It's the type of track that I really enjoy driving so that's a bonus. It's a very competitive field in the LMS and we will be getting 100% out of the car as we always do. Hopefully this weekend we will have taken another small step forward and that should show in our pace and race result."
Dale White, Team Manager: "We are constantly gaining as a team. We showed we had the speed to run up front at Le Mans and Algarve and that bodes well for Nurburgring. We're performing very well. I have the greatest confidence in this group."